Both will and would are verbs known as ‘modal verbs’. But there are significant differences between the words “will” and “would”, although. The two words have a close connection, making it confusing to know which word to use and when.
Would vs. Will: Understanding the Differences
“Will” can be a noun or a verb and has a variety of meanings. But in this case, we’ll concentrate on its employment as a modal verb or “helper verb.”
This indicates that we’re looking at how to combine “will” with another verb, usually to talk about events in the future tense. It can also be employed in the present tense on occasion, but never in the past tense form.
While “would” frequently denotes the past tense form of “will.” However, we may also express courtesy requests and conditional phrases with this word.
Modal Verbs (Would vs Will):
Modal verbs like “will” and “would” differ from simple verbs in that they are not used independently and do not denote some kind of action. They show the attitude of the speaker to this action, and they have their own characteristics in the construction of sentences.
How “Will” Is Used As a Modal Verb:
Willingness To Do Something:
We use will when we want to say that someone is ready to do something now or in the near future.
Use Will not or won’t when a person refuses to do something or when something (like a technique) doesn’t work.
- Don’t worry, I will not tell anyone
- I ask her out every day but she will not agree!
If you need to ask or ask for something, use will. Most often, such questions are addressed to the second person.
Probability or Certainty:
Will can be used to talk about events that are likely to happen. Often in such situations, the words probably, certainly/definitely are used.
- He will definitely not fail.
- I will do my best to help you.
Another use case for will is orders, directives, and commands.
- You will not go to the party.
- He will not quit his job!
Promise or Warning:
If you need to promise or warn about something, the verb will help you.
- I will pick you up, don’t worry.
- Don’t o outside you will get wet!
How “Would” Is Used As a Modal Verb:
The modal verb would is the past form of the verb will. Consider the use cases of would:
Polite, Request or Suggestion:
With the verb would, your requests and offers will sound more polite than with the verb will.
- Would you please bring me a coffee?
- Would you like to show me around?
Willingness To Do Something In The Past:
Use would describe situations in which you were prepared to do certain things.
- She would eagerly clean and iron the clothes.
We use would not when the person refused to do something or when something didn’t work in the past.
- My dog would not stop barking.
- I would not take the subway to work this morning!
We use would together with the verb in the infinitive form without the to a particle when we are not sure about something or we are describing an unreal situation in the present.
- The pie would taste much better with some cream.
Also, a hypothetical situation about the present or future can be expressed using conditional sentences of the second type.
- He would go to your house if he has time.
- They would be more interested to work if they get more facilities.
Now that we have learned the uses of “will” and “would” let’s know about some differences between Will and would.
Describe Past Beliefs:
The modal would is used to describe an action that someone used to do regularly in the past but no longer does. For example:
- Every winter we would go skiing in the Alps.
- He would come to play with me every evening when we were kids.
You can express your preferences using the expressions would like (would like), would love (would be very happy), and would prefer (would prefer). Please note that if these expressions are followed by a verb, then it must be preceded by the particle to.
- They would want to come, but it is impossible because Michael works on Saturdays.
- He would want a room with a view of the ocean.
Regret, Irritation, or Dissatisfaction:
When we regret something we cannot change, we use the I wish construction. Speaking of the present, we use the construction I wish I did (Past Simple), and speaking of the past – I wish I had done (Past Perfect). If we express dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs and at the same time hope for changes.
- I wish she would stop complaining all the time! (discontent and hope for change)
- If only he would stop creating so much trouble! (discontent and hope for change)
Would vs Will: The Difference
The verb will (would – in the past tense) – is one of the most common verbs in English and in most cases serves to build future tenses. The verb will have only two forms: will and would. Both forms are not semantic verbs, that is, they do not denote any action by themselves.
The term “would” is conditional statements and does not communicate this assurance or confidence. For example: “I would like to do that” does not illustrate confidence.
But the meaning of the term “will” conveys assurance that future action will be taken. For example: “I will be home by eight” is an illustration of this.
We would use the word “will” rather than “Would” to convey faith in the present.
The phrase “he will take me home” is an illustration of how to use this expression. The term “would” is typically not used to describe such a view.
The verb “will” is frequently used in place of the more commonly used verb “Would” to make a commitment or an offer.
Take the phrases “I will give you a ring” and “I would give you a ring” into consideration.
Conditions and Hypothesis:
When describing what will occur to a person in the present or future under certain circumstances, the word “will” is used. For example, “I will go home if he wins.”
Would, on the other hand, is employed to form an opinion.
For example, “Seeing the Statue of Liberty would be fantastic.”
Where is “will” and “would” used?
Another distinction between “will” and “would” is that “will” is used to refer to future occurrences in the present tense, whereas “would” is used to refer to future events in the past tense.
The word “would,” however, is also employed to communicate a number of different sentence functions, such as requests, courteous offers, invites, etc.
Is “would” past tense or future tense?
“Would” technically indicates the present tense of the word would, but it is an auxiliary verb that can also do so in some circumstances.
Inside this article
Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. Learn more.
- Abstract Noun
- Accusative Case
- Active Sentence
- Adjective Clause
- Adjective Phrase
- Adverbial Clause
- Appositive Phrase
- Compound Adjective
- Complex Sentence
- Compound Words
- Compound Predicate
- Common Noun
- Comparative Adjective
- Comparative and Superlative
- Compound Noun
- Compound Subject
- Compound Sentence
- Copular Verb
- Collective Noun
- Concrete Noun
- Conditional Sentence
- Comma Splice
- Correlative Conjunction
- Coordinating Conjunction
- Coordinate Adjective
- Cumulative Adjective
- Dative Case
- Declarative Sentence
- Declarative Statement
- Direct Object Pronoun
- Direct Object
- Dangling Modifier
- Demonstrative Pronoun
- Demonstrative Adjective
- Direct Characterization
- Definite Article
- False Dilemma Fallacy
- Future Perfect Progressive
- Future Simple
- Future Perfect Continuous
- Future Perfect
- First Conditional
- Irregular Adjective
- Irregular Verb
- Imperative Sentence
- Indefinite Article
- Intransitive Verb
- Introductory Phrase
- Indefinite Pronoun
- Indirect Characterization
- Interrogative Sentence
- Intensive Pronoun
- Inanimate Object
- Indefinite Tense
- Infinitive Phrase
- Indicative Mood
- Prepositional Phrase
- Past Simple Tense
- Past Continuous Tense
- Past Perfect Tense
- Past Progressive Tense
- Present Simple Tense
- Present Perfect Tense
- Personal Pronoun
- Persuasive Writing
- Parallel Structure
- Phrasal Verb
- Predicate Adjective
- Predicate Nominative
- Phonetic Language
- Plural Noun
- Punctuation Marks
- Preposition of Place
- Parts of Speech
- Possessive Adjective
- Possessive Determiner
- Possessive Case
- Possessive Noun
- Proper Adjective
- Proper Noun
- Present Participle
- Subordinating Conjunction
- Simple Future Tense
- Stative Verb
- Subject Complement
- Subject of a Sentence
- Sentence Variety
- Second Conditional
- Superlative Adjective
- Slash Symbol